Roughly the same price – roughly the same quality?

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Our kitchen was (nearly) finished on Friday after 6 long weeks. Goodbye to fitters, plumbers, electricians and decorators. Clean-up beginning. Just a bit of snagging left. So I thought we’d celebrate with what I hoped would be special wines.

I picked a red and a white, different countries, vintages and grapes. Only one thing in common – a nearly identical price. Since the law of diminishing returns applies to wine as to any other good I was expecting something a bit better than usual, without being revelatory.

The white was from Jermann, called Vintage Tunina, 2012 (was £36.50, now £39). A food blog I follow is one by Andy Hayler and this is a wine he often chooses or mentions in his restaurant reviews which made me want to try it, as did the unusual name. Hard to find – my bottle came from Great Western Wine, not a usual supplier but they another wine I especially wanted to try (Trinity Hill Homage Syrah, now sold out). Geoff tells me MWW are also stockists

An unusual wine, north Italian (not German), late harvested, an equal blend of chardonnay, malvasia istriana, picolit, ribolla gialla and sauvignon blanc. I could only identify two of those grapes with confidence. The wine is a field blend, something we have blogged on before. We have also previously tasted and enjoyed a Jermann. No blog though. So, how did it taste? Pretty good, rich, honeyed, dry finish, quite spicy, Intriguing would be a good description. But – too expensive for what it was.

The red was purchased following receipt of an excited email from the WS (must try, six only per customer, legendary Shiraz, class of its own, etc, etc). Since cutting back on my WS ordering I don’t get these emails anymore. Probably a good thing. The wine in question is Rockford Basket Press Shiraz 2006 (£39, no longer available). Lots of praise for this wine on the web but I didn’t really get it. Certainly I should have decanted although the unusual bottle shape – it has a very high shoulder – lead me not to. I found it smooth, deep, spicy, lots of varietal character on the taste, less so on the nose, but not really memorable. Two bottles left so Geoff can offer a second opinion.

Overall I thought the Tunina was the better value and the quality wine as the Rockford was less interesting and significantly overpriced..

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